September 6, 2006 7:43 AM PDT

Apple speeds up iMacs with Core 2 Duo

Apple Computer's iMac desktops are now equipped with Intel's new Core 2 Duo processors, the Mac maker said Wednesday.

The iMac lineup has also been expanded to include a 24-inch model, supplementing the company's 17-inch and 20-inch versions of the wide-screen, tower-free desktop. According to Apple, the new machines will operate 50 percent faster than the 20-inch version with the original Core Duo.

iMacs with Core 2 Duo

In June 2005, Apple announced that it was ditching its IBM PowerPC chips in favor of Intel processors. The iMacs with Intel's original Core Duo chip debuted early this year.

With the release of the Core 2 Duo models, iMac prices have dropped a notch. The 17-inch model--which cost $1,299 with the first Core Duo--is now $999 with a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo, $1,199 with a 2GHz version or $1,299 with a 2.16GHz chip.

The 20-inch iMac is priced at $1,499 with a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo or $1,749 with a 2.33GHz version.

The new 24-inch model costs $1,999 with a 2.16GHz chip or $2,249 with a 2.33GHz version.

The machines also come with a built-in iSight camera, which looks like a small black dot at the top of the screen and can shoot still photos or act as a Web cam. In addition, a remote that resembles an iPod Shuffle can be used to access music, movies and photos.

Apple's announcement was not limited to iMacs. Its Mac Mini budget desktop was given a processor upgrade too--from an Intel Core Solo to a Core Duo--not the new Core 2 Duo. The box-shaped Mac Minis, which come without a monitor, are now $599 for a 1.66GHz model and $799 for 1.83GHz version.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is expected to give more product news at a self-described " special event" in San Francisco next week.

See more CNET content tagged:
Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core Duo, Apple iMac, Apple Intel Mac Mini, Apple Computer


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This was a surprise.
I thought Apple's product announcements arrived on Tuesdays. ;<)

The new 24-inch model looks stunning, and it's nice that there's
now a consumer iMac priced below $1000. It's also welcome that 1
gb of RAM is now standard in three of the four models.

If it weren't for the fact that the hard drives are difficult to replace,
I'd buy an Intel iMac. What became of Apple's earlier iMac G5
design that made it relatively easy to get inside the case?
Posted by CBSTV (780 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yes, the hard drive tradegy
not sure why apple went very backwards in getting to the HD on the new iMacs... that's a component that needs to be replaced / serviced over the years, so making it like the old "ibooks", is bad!

probably cheaper to make it this way... the G5 iMacs were a dream to work on, but i'm sure that had a price.
Posted by OS11 (844 comments )
Link Flag
Let me get this straight. You will not buy an Intel iMac because
the hard drives are difficult (note:not impossible) to replace?
This has got to be the most feeble excuse ever.........
Posted by Europodboy (298 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah, right.
And if the hard drive replaced itself automatically you would come
up with a different reason not to buy a Mac. PC fanboys are quite a
resourceful bunch. Har, har ,har!
Posted by lkrupp (1608 comments )
Link Flag
Another Me Too
I hope that the reason for bringing this hardware out without a
media release is because they have more than just one iPod nano
upgrade to show and some downloadable videos only available to
the US. My hope is for a touch screen iPod. And has anyone
conceived of the possibility that the touch screen iPod so rumored
call be the same as the iPod Phone that has also been rumored.
Making this more an iPDA. Now I would buy one of them in a heart
beat. Bye Bye O2 XDA 2 mini... Oh well it never hurts to dream
Posted by ALPICH (51 comments )
Link Flag
Reason of the interior design...
Apple designed the G5 iMac from the ground up. Designing
where it wanted its components located and what type of

But with going Intel, they were forced to deal with some
standard Intel notebook mobos (yes notebook mobos). Also
trying to squeeze in both the north bridge and the south bridge.

If you ever look inside of a Intel iMac. It is a pure mess.
Everything is all over. Part of it is to blame both companies. As
Apple had to deal with the parts and did the best they could, to
make it still look the iMac.
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Link Flag
HD Replacement?
Take a good look at the PC market now. You have many people who are not like the typical CNET readers -- people who will never replace a HD themselves. They are more interested in the PC that works well for what they need, is low maintenance (think viruses/spyware), and has good design. So, who cares if it is hard to replace. Most Mac users don't replace their computers for 5-6 years anyway (my 2001 iBook lasted until my two year broke it earlier this year).

I personally know 8 people who were 'switchers' to Macs in the last two months. Even though Apple has a low market share now, even a 1-2% gain over the next year is huge -- especially since the rest of the PC market is struggling to make ends meet. Apple makes a great margin, has no debt, and has billions in cash. No other PC manufacturer has that type of structure right now.
Posted by jypeterson (181 comments )
Link Flag
Who's surprised?
This announcement was expected for a looooooooooong
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
time. As usual, CNUT makes it sound like it came out of the blue.
Posted by (156 comments )
Link Flag
This is great but...
Where are the new Mac Book pros? Pitching 64 bit to the pros then
not adding the 64-bit chip to the pro mobile line but to the
consumer desktop seems odd. Though that may be because I have
been waiting for the update to the MBP.

These systems are nice, but the average consumer won't notice too
much of a difference between the two chips and that's who iMacs
are targeted to. The 24'' screen is nice though...
Posted by rfelgueiras (189 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They don't need to know the difference.
They only need to know that it's an iMac, and it's faster than the
one it replaces at the same price. Most consumers are sold at that
point. Then they pick the size they want and checkout.
Posted by L-Fire (11 comments )
Link Flag
Predictable, but...
Well, everyone knew Apple wasn't going to wait long before they released Macs with Core 2 Duos, but still, it means they're getting more intent on capturing space in the desktop arena; the new machines are even more competitively priced, and should make consumers intent on switching. With this, Leopard, the presumed iPhone and iTunes Movie Store, Microsoft will have to watch its back. Especially if its Zune doesn't make a dent in the iPod cash cow.
Posted by ~Canuck~ (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If MS is betting the shop on Zune then you should sell your stock immediately. It is the Toshiba player that already failed in the marketplace with a halfassed done wifi tacked on.
Posted by miketkrw (86 comments )
Link Flag
I'm confused
From the article: "Apple's announcement was not limited to iMacs. Its Mac Mini budget desktop was given a processor upgrade too--from an Intel Core Solo to a Core Duo--not the new Core 2 Duo. The box-shaped Mac Minis, which come without a monitor, are now $599 for a 1.66GHz model and $799 for 1.83GHz version."

I bought a Mini Core Duo several months ago. Does this simply mean that the Core Solo is no longer available in the Mini and has been replaced with a slower Core Duo?
Posted by herkamur (115 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A Core Duo is faster than a Core Solo. So the 1.66 Ghz Solo is
slower than the 1.66 Ghz Duo. Maybe im confused on what you are
confused about but thats what I got out of it
Posted by lilrazztx (25 comments )
Link Flag
Not confusing..
The 1.66 GHz Core Duo is now the entry level. So they took 20GB
off the hard drive and put in a combo. The result.... $200 cheaper
than it was a few days ago.

They now put at the top of the Mini heap.. a 1.83 GHz Core Duo.
Kept the same hard drive storage and kept the Superdrive. They
only bumped the processor speed, but kept the same price.
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Link Flag
Big Deal... Here are some better Mini PCs
Big deal.... No matter what upgrades they give the Mac Mini nothing changes the fact that it is still a Mac, if you want a real Mini PC then try some of these Mini PCs: <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by johnandrews (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Other mini pc's
P4/Celeron is better than Core 2 duo? ***?
Posted by ultrasource (2 comments )
Link Flag
Here are some real mini PC's
what a load os BS, there the same size or larger, oh and they cost
more. What a moron.
Posted by (8 comments )
Link Flag
What a Suprise, no media event?
From another thread,

Is it me, or do you find it surprising that Apple just announced
these "out of the blue" and not at some media event? Sure there
were rumors about new iMacs, there always are, but sheesh .....
maybe I'm getting old ...


It's surprising, but it's only to support their new movie download
service, and whatever else Steve has in store for us next week. I
think it's outstanding. Ordering the 24" iMac...

"Yeah, I agree. I got the feeling that Apple wanted to realease
new hardware for next week's announcement. That way the
focus next week is on the iTunes-movie service and related

Hopefully we will get the long awaited 6G iPod"

" maybe they got Leopard pre-installed on them ! ;-}

but seriously I would have thought Steve would be dying to intro
these onstage, and I can see it now, after introducing the new 17
and 20" models he says "and one more thing" .... " The new iMac
now comes with a 24 " screen and it's just gorgeous ... and it is
available NOW !! ... "

Oh well, this is certainly good news, bring on the switchers!
Posted by redison (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The media event next week...
Is for iPod and iTunes only.
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Link Flag
So, where the hell
is the TV tuner?
Posted by dwalltheone (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm a PC
touche... still might not be using this right.
Posted by ALPICH (51 comments )
Link Flag
Get a separate product...
Like an Elgato or Miglia.
Of course it adds money to the total purchase. But it gives you
options for those who want or need it.
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Link Flag
I put together a lot of PCs over the years, including the 2 I still have at the house, and none of them come with TV tunners for the standard setup, unless you buy a second card, just for that, so you can do the same on a Mac too.

Even when you buy a PC today, TV tunners are a add-on, it's not included with standard offers, unless you pay more money for a better upgraded model.

I would like to see options in the forthcoming OS X to allow for TV recording like Vista is supposed to allow with Vista Home version or something like that.

That would be cool to do, hopefully Apple will start to copy Windows, so they know how it feels to get your ideas ripped off.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Link Flag
What Apple needs...
... is a $599 15" iMac

... and a $199 Mac Mini, even if it comes without bluetooth, wireless, an optical drive and even without an internal hard drive. To use a hard drive you would attach a SATA hard drive to an external port on the Mac Mini.

This would be great for the enterprise market.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what apple needs?
If Apple did that, then they would be competing with Dell. Dell
sells three or four times as many machines as Apple, but for
cheap so the two companies end up making about the same
amount of money.

Apple doesn't sell low-end machines. Since OSX is now a very
good OS and plenty of people want it ... Apple can force people
to buy their expensive hardware in order to get OSX. If they
included low-end, low-priced products, it may hurt their bottom

As far as you're concerned, if you want a cheap apple, I'd
suggest getting a 1 or 2 year old machine ... there are plenty
around in surprisingly MINT condition.

Apple's also not going to sell you a mini without a HD because
they know you're just going to buy a bargain HD from some
other company ... no money for them.
Posted by tbarkhou (22 comments )
Link Flag
iMacs are a steal, Mac Minis are ripoffs.
For the money spent on a Mac mini of comparative specs. The
iMac beats the Mac mini in many many fields.
But the main thing is, the iMac has Core 2 Duo and the Mini
does not.

Let me see here.
A 1.83GHz Core Duo Mac mini , w/ 160GB HD, 1GB RAM, 23" HD
Apple display, keyboard/mighty mouse, iSight, integrated video
card maxed at 64MB....$2,300.99

A 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo iMac 24" HD built-in display, w/ 250GB
HD, 1GB RAM, keyboard/mighty mouse, built-in iSight, AN
ACTUAL VIDEO CARD w/ 128MB...$1,999.

A 1.83GHz Core Duo Mac mini , w/ 160GB HD, 1GB RAM, 20"
Apple display, keyboard/mighty mouse, iSight, integrated video
card maxed at 64MB....$2,000.99

A 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo iMac 20" built-in display, w/ 250GB HD,
1GB RAM, keyboard/mighty mouse, built-in iSight, AN ACTUAL
VIDEO CARD w/ 128MB...$1,499

That makes the 20" iMac an even better value with a difference
of $501.99; not that the 24" iMac isn't bad either with $301.99
in difference.

Of course that is if you are using Apple displays. You can get
displays from other companies. But even with those savings, you
are lucky to break even with the iMacs.
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Reply Link Flag
different target market
why would apple produce two different desktop lines designed
to compete with each other?
The imac line is designed for those that want everything in one
package. They want the keyboard, mouse, screen etc.
The mac mini is BYODKM (bring your own display keyboard and
mouse). If you already have those items, it might occurr to you
that it is a waste of your hard earned cash to throw them out to
spend more money on nice new white ones.
In this way, you could argue that it encourages recycling and
reusing computer equipment!
Posted by yikes31 (71 comments )
Link Flag
The Benefit of Going Intel
This rapid update cycle of the Mac line is one of the benefits of shifting to the Intel chips. No more waiting (and waiting... and waiting) for new chip developments!
Posted by vbeast (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Still waiting for a cheaper apple laptop
Hoping (hopelessly) that apple will launch a cheaper, entry level macbook next week.
Posted by alex32211 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Highly doubtful
Apple would never go below $999 at the very least. I would think it
would stay around there or where it is at now.

Apple loves their profit margins....
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Link Flag
Low-End PCs Are Not Apple's Market
You may as well wait for monkeys to fly out your... ears. Apple is
not interested in competing in the sub-$500 computer market or
laptops that sell less than $1k. I respect that Apple is in business to
make a profit - something you PC fan boys don't seem to
understand. The reality is, if you don't make a profit, you don't stay
in business!

Look, I'm sorry you can't afford a Mac. Really. Maybe you could buy
a used one or a model that's a few years old...
Posted by montex66 (370 comments )
Link Flag
If you built them, why did you then say neither came with a tuner?? LOL!
Posted by dwalltheone (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It is all marketing!
Steve Jobs is pretty smart, most people agree on that. And this is why....

iMacs seem cheap because you get 1) a computer with new Core 2 Duo (valued at $XXX) and 2) a great monitor (valued at $XXX). Separately, these are valued at much more then the cost of the iMac. A Dell 24 monitor is worth $750US alone. Wow, the iMac is a bargain, Ill grad three!!

However, there is a catch...

The components (computer and screen) are attached!!! This means that a screen which has a much lower depreciation rate compared to the computer (processor) actually now depreciates at the same rate as the computer (processor). Therefore forcing you to purchase a new screen with your next new computer!

If you purchased the 24 monitor separately, the this would be good for around 8 years, easily double that of an actual computer (if you replace your computer every 4 years).

Therefore in the price of the iMac, you have to cost in the additional cost when you go to purchase your next computer within 4 years. Just something to think about&.

Steve Jobs does this all the time. He brings out a product eg. iSight camera, gives is a fancy trademarked name and puts a high price on it. Then a year later, Apple builds in the iSight to the actual computer. This allows them to advertise that the computer now comes with an iSight in it (which is true). And here is the icing for Apple& As a consumer, we instantly add the original high price of the original iSight to the price of the new computer and think that we have a bargain!

Firstly, the original iSight was overpriced (perhaps deliberately) and secondly, how do you actually know that the camera in the new iMac is actually an iSight camera? Even if it is technically, the cost is far less for Apple to manufacture when they build it into the computer at the factory.

Marketing at its best! Well done Apple.
Posted by rturner2 (125 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yes its all in the marketing but...
Many of the things that you have mentioned are correct, but the
situation is different (or has been until now) with Macs than with
Its true that the screen will depreciate at the same pace as the
machine and everything that you said about the isight, I agree
But that being said, I know people who have G3 and G4 imacs
who love them and are reluctant to upgrade simply because they
love the product. There are various companies out there that
cater for this market that provide some kind of processor
upgrade for these imacs simply to keep them active today. Many
dont even bother to upgrade, but accept whatever is running for
the reason that they love the machine they have.
Its only when the machine finally dies that they accept the
inevitable fact that they need to upgrade their system and begin
looking at something newer.
In stark contrast, I have never seen anyone hold onto a p 133
that they loved that was made by HP a decade ago that forces
them to run Windows 95.
The proof is on ebay. Old apple machines still sell. They might
not get much as the change to intel is pretty much writing on
the walls for some of them, but they are still selling (which pcs
of that age are not)
Posted by yikes31 (71 comments )
Link Flag
You think that was smart?
Actually, your views are an example of poor analytical reasoning. The presumptions you bring to your 'analysis' are unfounded.

"Most people who can afford a Mac will upgrade sooner than four years. (The extended warranty is for two or three years, BTW.)

"An iMac buyer will likely upgrade to a new iMac, getting a new monitor in the process, of course.

"There is no rational reason for your claim that Apple Computer is lying about an iSight camera or other components being included in the computer.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Your discussion of 'marketing' is really just sour grapes.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"Most people who can afford a Mac will upgrade sooner than four years"
- I was being conservative. Therefore if people upgrade more often, they pay more for the monitor being attached.

"An iMac buyer will likely upgrade to a new iMac, getting a new monitor in the process, of course."
- exactly my point. They have to pay more for this computer WITH a monitor, than if they purchased the items seperately.

"There is no rational reason for your claim that Apple Computer is lying about an iSight camera or other components being included in the computer."
- it may well be an iSight, but my point is that it still costs them much less to install in the factory.

I have nothing more to say, except that you may want to read what I wrote again and try and understand it!
Posted by rturner2 (125 comments )
Link Flag

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